Excommunication: Archbishop Lefebvre & Bishop Pat Buckley… Spot the Difference!

As promised in our July Newsletter – which you can download from our website here –  we are launching a brief discussion on the matter of two prominent 20th century excommunications: that of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Founder of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) and Bishop Pat Buckley…  A brief overview of each situation follows: 

Archbishop Lefebvre…

From the SSPX website…

Following the repeated requests of several young men seeking a traditional priestly formation, Archbishop Lefebvre opened a new seminary in Econe, Switzerland. The local ordinary, Bishop Francois Charriere, gave his blessing for this work, and on November 1, 1970 the Priestly Society of St. Pius X was born with the approval of the Church.

A brief account of the history of the SSPX can be read here. One detail, however, should be added to that general account, as it pertains primarily to Archbishop Lefebvre’s involvement in the Coetus Internationalis Patrum. During the Second Vatican Council, an important friendship developed between Marcel Lefebvre and Antonio de Castro Mayer, bishop of Campos (Brazil). These two shared ideas at the various Coetus functions and kept in contact long after the close of the council. They both refused to implement the modernist teachings of Vatican II and in 1983 jointly authored an open letter to the pope lamenting the numerous errors which seemed to infect Rome. When Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four new bishops in 1988, Bishop de Castro Mayer assisted as co-consecrator.  To read more, click here

From The Remnant website…

Sadly, in the current catastrophe that is the Post-Conciliar Church, some blinded men, instead of joining the fight against the heresy, apostasy, and de facto schism around us, insist on melodramatically condemning, with the most condescending and arrogant invective, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Although any excommunication that was previously levied against the living bishops of the SSPX has long since been remitted, some hardened Neo-Catholics insist that Abp. Lefebvre himself remains perpetually excommunicated, one Neo-Catholic priest even going so far as to presume his damnation. Thus the same Neo-Catholics who tell us that the Church’s perennial teachings on religious liberty, ecumenism, and collegiality are confined to past times and changeable, treat a 1988 letter from a pope as if its infallibility ranked somewhere between Dogma and Holy Writ.

The 1988 letter I am referring to, of course, is John Paul II’s Ecclesia Dei adflictaTwenty-six years later, Neo-Catholics cling to this letter as it represents, in their minds anyway, the one infallible document that ensures Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre can never be rehabilitated or declared a Saint in the future. As usual, the irony of the Neo-Catholics, on the one hand preaching the Mass of Pius V is changeable at the whim of future popes, while on the other hand preaching John Paul II’s excommunication is certainly valid and binding for all time, escapes them entirely.  To read the entire article on The Remnant website, click here

Bishop Pat Buckley…

Google Father or Bishop Pat Buckley and the description “rebel priest” comes up… Here, in his own words, is why he was dismissed from his parish

 

Later, Fr Buckley was consecrated a bishop, as reported in the Irish Times: 

“The rebel cleric, Bishop Pat Buckley, has excommunicated himself from the Catholic Church by being consecrated as a bishop, a Hierarchy spokesman has said.

The church spokesman said the ordination of Bishop Buckley by the Tridentine bishop, Dr Michael Cox, was “valid but unlawful” (under Canon law).”  To read rest of this report click  here

Comment: 

The adjective often used to describe both bishops is “rebel”.  Archbishop Lefebvre is well known for his work to preserve Catholic Tradition against the innovations following Vatican II, while Bishop Buckley is well known for his dissent from Catholic teachings, such as the prohibition on divorce and remarriage.  Archbishop Lefebvre fought to keep the Church within Catholic Tradition, while Bishop Buckley seeks to achieve changes in the Church which will meet the perceived needs of contemporary Catholics living in a “liberal” society.  

So, check out the headline – IS there any difference between the two excommunications?   

3rd September: Feast of Pope St Pius X…

Read (or, for now, simply dip into) two key texts for our times: firstly, the landmark encyclical of Pope Saint Pius X Pascendi (on the doctrine of the Modernists) and Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics  and then share your thoughts. 

And consider this: the Pontifical High Mass in the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Balornock, Glasgow, offered by Cardinal Burke at noon today, would not have taken place but for the self-sacrifice of Archbishop Lefebvre, who refused to stand by and permit the ancient Mass to be destroyed in the name of the Vatican II “reforms”.  

To the Archbishop, in fact,  do we owe the Masses now available all over the world, which resulted from Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter, given Motu Proprio (on his own initiative/by his own hand), Summorum Pontificum issued in July, 2007. This Motu Proprio was issued  to fulfil a condition of the Bishops of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X , who insisted that all priests must be permitted to offer the Traditional Latin Mass without any pressure from their bishops, before they, the SSPX bishops,  would resume talks aimed at ending their current “irregular” situation within the Church.  One wonders just how many of those attending Cardinal Burke’s Pontifical High Mass today, and, no doubt, marvelling at its beauty, realise that fact. 

How likely, too, is it that the organisers, or any of the priests in attendance – let alone the Cardinal himself – would remark on this key fact, in all of their conversation about the beauty of the ancient rite of Mass, and the wonder of having it available to the faithful once again, after so many years when it was effectively (and illicitly) prohibited.  

Far, far from our priests be the love of novelty! – Pope Pius X

 

Comments invited…

Faith Is Greater Than Obedience…

One of our young, teenage readers asked me to post the following article from The Angelus, August 1988 – he reads the blog and is keen to discover what we all think of the claims of Professor Albert Drexel.  What follows is taken from The Angelus website: archbishop-marcel-lefebvre-i-have-never-changed

Fr. Albert Drexel wrote Faith Is Greater than Obedience, a collection of words Our Lord spoken to him a few years before he died. These locutions have every mark of credibility, for Fr. Drexel was an experienced priest, a professor—certainly not one to give into flights of imagination, nor one easily deceived by the devil…

“Faith Is Greater Than Obedience” words of Our Savior to Professor Albert Drexel on March 5, 1976

Professor Albert Drexel was born in Hohenems in the province of Voralberg in Austria. He was the third of five brothers, who were also priests, and he was ordained in 1914.

Professor Drexel held three doctor degrees as an Austrian scientist of philology and ethnology. In 1932, he had a private audience with Pope Pius XI; he taught as professor in the Vatican University for Missions and was later used as an expert in racial questions at the Vatican. He wrote many books on Philology and Theology. He died on March 9, 1977.

July 4, 1975 …My Church lives in the midst of apostasy and destruction. She lives also among  numerous faithful and loyal people. In the history of My Church, there have been times of decline, of desertion and devastation, in consequence of wicked priests and tepid shepherds. But the spirit of God is most powerful, and has raised up the Church and caused it to blossom again, but smaller, upon the ruins and graves of unfaithfulness and desertion. The work of Ecône, of My servant Marcel, does not perish!

March 5, 1976 …My faithful son Marcel, who suffers a great deal for the faith, is going on the right path. He is like a light and pillar of truth, which many ordained priests of Mine are betraying. Faith is greater than obedience. Therefore, it is My will that the work of the theological education for priests continues in the spirit and will of My son Marcel, for the salvation and great help of My one and true Church.

May 7, 1976 …My one and true Church shall be renewed by priests. Know then: There shall grow up a new generation of young priests. And these priests, repulsed by apostate ecclesiastics, are drawn to the spiritual life of the saints, and they will openly profess themselves as servants of Christ; they shall wear the habit of their vocation and order, and will not have human respect or worldly love. These priests are trained already in a few places, and they are distinguished by three characteristics: by the life of prayer, by the flame of their Eucharistic love and profoundness, by the devotion and honoring of the Mother of redemption, the eternal Virgin Mother Mary. These three reasons will bring the success of saints to this young generation of priests, and will raise My one and true Church to new splendor, and with great vigor.

June 4, 1976 …Therefore you should know: Whoever lays hands on and destroys that place where young men are educated to be priests after the heart and will of God, shall draw down the curse of Heaven and Mine in this time, and for all eternity. A blessing to those, and My blessing, to whoever protects and promotes such a place. A threefold curse to those who seize such a place wrongly and who block thus the road to the future priesthood!

August 6, 1976 …Your other worries are concerning a doubt about the painful situation in which My son Marcel finds himself. He suffers injustice, because of his fight for the faith and because it was an unjust verdict given to him. But there shall come a time in which this injustice will be repaired in time here on earth: this son of Mine is a worthy servant of My one and true Church.

October 1, 1976 …Therefore I am very pleased with My son Marcel, because he has stood up against all misunderstandings and persecutions, for the salvation of the faith, and because the Eucharistic sacrifice means for him the most Holy.

December 3, 1976 …But priests like My worthy servant Marcel are persecuted, condemned and outlawed, because they see the sacramental sacrifice as the truest and holiest, and celebrate the mystery of My body and blood with holy reverence.

February 4, 1977 …For the peace of your soul, and for your work you do for the Church, you should know: My servant Marcel is within My love, because of his strong faith, his true humility, and his great reverence.   Source